"Marty Farrell paid a visit to the IC last weekend. For those who don’t know, Marty is one the most unassuming elite athletes in the world. He is the only male American born Master of Sport in Kettlebell Lifting and also, pound-for-pound, the strongest kettlebell lifter in the country. At 70kg, Marty regularly lifts high-rep sets at over 90% of his body weight (as demonstrated in this video). He competes against guys twice his size. The technical precision of his movements as well as his work capacity make his sets exciting to watch. "
This is before Scott Helsley made it:) Kettlebelllifter When you train for kettlebell competitions with your top athletes, what kind of supplemental training do you introduce to your athletes?
Ice Chamber When preparing for competitions, the Ice Chamber Kettlebell Girls primarily focus on the specific events involved in the meet. In other words, if they compete in the Biathlon, we train Jerks and Snatches; if they do the Long Cycle, we train Cleans and Jerks. We tend to keep things very simple and follow a stringent protocol. We're not very creative or inventive because this protocol works, as you know personally, so we've just stuck with it. We follow what has worked for Valery; and so far it has worked for us. As far as supplemental training goes, we run, cycle, and do a variety of flexibility work.
Kettlebelllifter Is there any specific diet that you follow on a consistent basis?
Ice Chamber We do not follow any specific diets other than to eat good proteins, fats, and to keep the bad carbs down to a minimum. This is pre-competition, of course. Post-competition we eat anything we want to ;-)
KettlebellLifter What kind of athletes do you train and do you use kettlebells as a supplement?
Ice Chamber We train some high level athletes in a wide range of sports including Judo, BJJ, ski racing, triathlons, rowing, cycling (both road and off road), and of course kettlebell lifting. We do use kettlebells as supplemental training for all the athletes in these categories as a way to improve their work capacity. We found that the kettlebell is an indispensable training apparatus for competitive athletes. One of the most beneficial thing about kettlebell lifting, in my opinion, is the ability to train different energy systems without changing the tool. For example, the phosphagen system can be taxed by doing 10 reps of heavy one arm jerks while the aerobic system can be developed with a 20 minute timed set of relatively light snatches. I haven't found another tool in which this type of implementation process is possible. The kettlebell is unique in this regard.
KettlebellLifter Is there a favorite kettlebell exercise that you prefer?
Ice Chamber I like the Snatch. It is easy to learn at first, but quite difficult to master. There is little room for technical error. Unlike the Jerk, where you have a rack position to reset, the Snatch in unforgiving in that once you start, there is no turning back. It's like a fast pace chess game. It is highly technical, and you can lose very quickly if you make one wrong move.
Kettlebelllifter Is there a trend with effects of kettlebell training or does it differ from person to person? For example, does a marathon runner provide the same feedback as a strength athlete when introduced to kettlebells?
Ice Chamber There seems to be a trend with kettlebell lifting in the areas of core strength, endurance, and coordination. Regardless of the athlete, the carryovers from kettlebell lifting have been consistent in our experience. There is no doubt that lifting kettlebells has helped our athletes develop a strong torso, better work capacity, and keen proprioceptive awareness. Most of our athletes have a great understanding of their physical abilities and limitations, but the effects of kettlebell training have helped them enhance an unexpected dimension of performance - mental fortitude. Working timed sets without the opportunity to perform multiple hand switches helps them develop a certain calm under stress. This aspect of performance training is invaluable.